New Delhi, March 27, 2020:
Reserve Bank of India (RBI) Governor Shaktikanta Das on Friday deferred the EMIs on housing, personal and auto loans for three months.
A day after Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman announced a Rs 1.7 lakh crore package to combat the impact of the 21-day coronavirus lockdown in India, the RBI Governor brought this relief to the common people of the country by allowing banks to defer the loans for the next three months.
While addressing the media, Das said, “”All banks, lending institutions may allow a three-month moratorium on all the instalment on long-term loans.” He added that the repayment schedule and all the subsequent due dates maybe shifted across the board by three months.
Governor’s address to media https://t.co/vsfV13L0UK
— ReserveBankOfIndia (@RBI) March 27, 2020
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Additionally, the RBI Governor announced that it would cut its repo rate by 75 basis points (bps) to 4.4 percent. This apart, the reverse repo rate stands reduced by 90 bps to 4 percent.
The announcement comes in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, which has led to an economic pandemic in the country. “It is worthwhile to remember that tough times never last. Only tough people and institutions do,” said the RBI Governor, adding that he was “optimistic” of the situation.
The package has the Garib Kalyan Yojana, which aims to benefit 80 crore poor or two-third of the population. The Government under this scheme will provide 5 kg rice or wheat free for the next three months. This is in addition to the 5 kg ration that they already get. The scheme also provides them the option of choosing their own preferred pulses of 1 kg.
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8 crore BPL families will be given free cylinders for the next three months. “We have come with a package that will immediately help those affected directly, those migrants workers, urban and rural poor. We are looking both at cash transfers as well as food security measures,” said Sitharaman, while announcing the benefits on Thursday.
She also announced Rs 50 lakh medical cover per person for the government’s sanitation workers, ASHA workers, doctors, paramedics, others, if they need it. The scheme is expected to benefit 20 lakh such workers.
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The first installment of the Pradhan Mantri Kisan Yojana to the Farmers will be delivered by April. Over 8 crore farmers are expected to benefit from this. The Government has announced hike in MNREGA wages from Rs 182 to Rs 202 a day (Rs 2,000 per worker additional), which is expected to benefit some five crore families.
It may be mentioned here that the coronavirus or COVID-19 cases continue to soar across the country and across the world. India has ordered a 21-day lockdown following the rising cases of corona. Currently, India has crossed the 700-mark and 20 people have died due to the virus.
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